U I C WISEST - Women in Science and Engineering System Transformation

Postdoctoral Research Associates

The WISEST Postdoctoral Research Associate for Academic Diversity is an exciting opportunity designed to help women scholars, particularly members of underrepresented groups, prepare for faculty careers at UIC or other academic institutions. 
In early 2007, WISEST invited recent PhD graduates to apply for postdoctoral awards at competitive salaries with full benefits for academic years 07/08 and 08/09. The basic structure of the postdoc is described below.
Current UIC women STEM postdocs and WISEST Postdocs are invited to attend monthly networking opportunities and workshops covering a range of career-enhancing topics, including:

Basic Structure of the WISEST Postdoctoral Fellowship

Total Awards: 5
Duration: 2 years beginning August 2007

Download the NSF Poster (2.01 Mb)

Training Emphasis:
Customized training prepares women from underrepresented groups (African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans) for tenure-track, research-based faculty positions in natural science (biology, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, physics), engineering, and mathematics departments.

Download the UIC WISEST Postdoctoral Institute_Plan (17.27 Kb)

Postdocs are awarded on a competitive basis with women of color strongly encouraged to apply. To be considered, applicants must:

  1. Have earned a PhD in a STEM discipline after August 2001
  2. Be a U.S. citizen or permanent naturalized resident
  3. Submit the completed formal WISEST Postdoc application

Role of WISEST

WISEST provides a competitive postdoc stipend with fringe benefits, plus up to $1600 per postdoc per year to help offset costs associated with travel to at least one national scientific meeting per year.

Postdoc Activities:
WISEST hosts monthly Postdoc Seminars for the 5 WISEST Postdoc Research Associates; other STEM postdocs on campus are invited to attend. These monthly sessions alternate between postdoc research presentations, and professional development/career-skills training. Social events are sponsored in conjunction with each session to help facilitate networking and enhance mentoring opportunities.

Role of the Host Department 

Mentoring & Supervision within the Host Department:
The postdoc benefits from interacting with her research advisor, an additional senior faculty member who shares similar research interests but does not supervise the postdoc, and the WISEST Facilitator. These individuals meet with the postdoc as a team by the end of the first quarter of the postdoc award to develop an Individual Career Development Plan (ICDP), then at least quarterly for assessment of progress with respect to the Plan. In addition, the postdoc has the opportunity of one semester of classroom teaching under the guidance of a senior faculty member.
Mentor Responsibilities:
Research Advisor:

Departmental Mentor:

WISEST Facilitator Mentor:

Mentoring Team Responsibilities:

Requirements and Responsibilities of the Postdoc

During the first quarter of the fellowship, the WISEST Postdoc drafts the initial version of her Individual Career Development Plan. In consultation with the mentoring team, she refines this Plan and develops a timeline for progress towards the stated objectives. The Postdoc meets quarterly with her mentoring team to assess progress toward achieving the goals and objectives outlined in the Plan.

The Postdoc must attend all monthly WISEST Postdoc Seminars and mentored training activities organized by WISEST and within the department. The Postdoc is required to agree to participate in a post-Postdoc evaluation. By the end of the two-year fellowship, the Postdoc must have prepared a faculty application package including a research proposal. The Postdoc signifies her agreement to these responsibilities by signing a Compact between the WISEST postdoctoral research associate and her mentoring team.
WISEST photo rotator

Women in Science and Engineering System Transformation (WISEST)

The goal of the WISEST Initiative is to increase the number, participation, and leadership status of women — majority and minority — in academic science and engineering through institutional transformation at UIC.